Eclectic Splendor

At 11am on Sunday 7th July Leonard Joel made history by conducting its first auction in Collingwood in a wonderful old corner building on Smith Street, made all the more special by the curatorial and artistic eye of the artist David Bromley. More than 400 lots personally selected by David Bromley and from diverse collecting categories and periods were offered for public auction and the collection could best be described as both very eclectic and equally splendid. Photography, works of art, modern design, interior decoration and antiques all occupied the Collingwood space to produce a visual feast that challenged the traditional interpretations of how an auction can and should be viewed. Featherston and Colombo furniture sat comfortably beside antique lights fittings, period works of art and industrial design and provided spectators with rooms and displays that proved how interestingly old and new aesthetics could collaborate without looking “old hat”.

66More than 200 people attended the auction and it was not long before some very interesting and diverse results were being generated. A rare pair of black leather chairs by Joe Colombo, with lavish lip-like curves, set the scene for results with a contemporary feel when they sold for $9,760 (IBP) while not long after a superb gouache by Fred Williams in three sections realised $34,160 (IBP) – clearly, fine Australian art and rare international furniture was in equal demand! Of the more interesting items to be sold were period rocking horses, large scale vintage ship’s lights and even an antique French birdcage. One of the fiercest bidding duels for the auction was over the large scale photographic work by Angus O’Callaghan, one of three commissioned for this auction, titledPrincess Bridge Evening which more than doubled its estimate to sell for $11,590 (IBP) and set at the same time a record price for the artist. Giles Moon, Head of Modern Design, commented: “This is the first conceptually original auction Leonard Joel has conducted in a long time and dare say it might the first time an auction house in Australia has teamed up with an artist and collaborated in this fashion. As decorating and collecting patterns change auction houses too need to adapt and it is our wish that these auctions will do just that by augmenting the traditional purist category auction with auctions across all categories where every item makes sense in its context and assists the viewer with a story about how or where it might be utilised in a modern collecting environment. We were privileged to have David Bromley oversee this venture with us and already we are planning the next one”. The auction realised a very pleasing $457,500 (IBP) with strong results across both old and new collecting categories.

For further information about these concept auctions, our Collingwood space or if you wish to sell with Leonard Joel please contact Giles Moon, Head of Modern Design, 03 8825 5635 or